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Monday, October 24, 2005

Off The Hook

What began as the PTA president's way of torturing me, ended better than I could have imagined. Friday morning, I arrived for book sale duty at 8 a.m. I was prepared to screw up the mission assigned, so I wouldn't be called upon again by the evil one. Books lined shelves in the hallway and kids walked around waiting to buy their favorites.

No other adults seemed to be around, not even the PTA lady. I assumed I was supposed to do what I did last year, sell books. The only problem, there was no cashbox.

My first two potential customers were told, "Unless you want me to keep the change, you're going to have to wait." They walked away and I smiled.

The bell rang and soon everyone was in their respective classrooms. The secretary came to make sure someone was there manning the book sale. She went to fetch the cashbox for me. Before she returned, the kindergarteners were coming my way. As they were walking up one end of the hallway, a handful of senior citizens were walking toward me from the other end. What I didn't know was, Friday also was Grandparent Appreciation Day at St. Peter, Paul and Mary School.

A little boy approached me. He had a joke book, two pencils, a Sponge Bob poster and a handful of balled up dollar bills. I added up what he owed me as he counted his money.

Realizing he was short, he said, "I'm just going to wait for my Grandpa, 'cuz then I can get this and the bug vacuum." I laughed at the thought of that boy playing his grandpa like a fiddle.

Before long, kids and grandparents were filling the gym. The program began at 9 a.m. and was finished at 10:30, which coincidentally, was when I was off duty.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the PTA president run into the building. Out of breath she said, "Our other helper, who was supposed to relieve you, is sick. I am going to have to stand in. How has the morning gone?"

"It's been pretty quiet. Everyone is in the gym for Grandparent's Day."

"Oh, gosh! I forgot about that! I suppose I'll be bombarded once the performances are over."

"You might be. Well, good luck." I said as I began hightailing toward the exit.

"We should have had one of you helpers dress as Clifford the Big Red Dog to welcome the grandparents," she continued.

Without looking back, I said, "Oh, that would have been a great idea. Have a good day." And I was out of there before my mouth offered me to dress up in that ridiculous costume. Again.

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